The outdoors industry needs strong business skills and leadership training to be able to manage the industry’s significant assets. That’s the thinking at Western State Colorado University, which announced it has developed a hybrid program to be the first Masters of Business Administration offered in the outdoors industry.
Starting in 2018, the Outdoors Industry MBA will be offered as a hybrid program, which means it’s not a resident program. Instead, it’s focused on working professionals looking to further their careers. Located in Gunnison, Colo., the small-scale Western State Colorado University is looking to make a big splash in the outdoors industry with this offering.
“We were really interested in an MBA that strictly focused on the outdoor industry. And there’s not another one in the country,” Dr. Joel Watson (who is heading the MBA program) told K-BUT FM in an interview.
“We want people with work experience, because this is more of management training,” Dr. Watson said in the interview. “It’s not for undergrads to get an MBA. They need to have been out there a bit, seen the world, seen their industry a bit, to get the full impact of getting an MBA.”
Focusing on getting people who have been in the work place for a few years training for executive positions means this is certainly going to be a niche program. The hybrid aspect will encompass mostly digital classes with a requirement of being on-campus one week during each summer of the two years, as well as two weekends per semester for the two years.
The program will offer a full MBA class load, with a heavy focus in outdoor activities, companies and industry itself.